Henry IV, Part 1* by William Shakespeare § 3.3

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ACT III
SCENE III.
2510 Eastcheap. The Boar's-Head Tavern.
[Enter FALSTAFF and BARDOLPH]
FALSTAFF.
Bardolph, am I not fallen away vilely since this last
action? do I not bate? do I not dwindle? Why my
2515 skin hangs about me like an like an old lady's loose
gown; I am withered like an old apple-john. Well,
I'll repent, and that suddenly, while I am in some
liking; I shall be out of heart shortly, and then I
shall have no strength to repent. An I have not
2520 forgotten what the inside of a church is made of, I
am a peppercorn, a brewer's horse: the inside of a
church! Company, villanous company, hath been the
spoil of me.
BARDOLPH.
2525 Sir John, you are so fretful, you cannot live long.
FALSTAFF.
Why, there is it: come sing me a bawdy song; make
me merry. I was as virtuously given as a gentleman
need to be; virtuous enough; swore little; diced not
2530 above seven times a week; went to a bawdy-house once
in a quarter--of an hour; paid money that I
borrowed, three of four times; lived well and in
good compass: and now I live out of all order, out
of all compass.
2535 BARDOLPH.
Why, you are so fat, Sir John, that you must needs
be out of all compass, out of all reasonable
compass, Sir John.
FALSTAFF.
2540 Do thou amend thy face, and I'll amend my life:
thou art our admiral, thou bearest the lantern in
the poop, but 'tis in the nose of thee; thou art the
Knight of the Burning Lamp.
BARDOLPH.
2545 Why, Sir John, my face does you no harm.
FALSTAFF.
No, I'll be sworn; I make as good use of it as many
a man doth of a Death's-head or a memento mori: I
never see thy face but I think upon hell-fire and
2550 Dives that lived in purple; for there he is in his
robes, burning, burning. If thou wert any way
given to virtue, I would swear by thy face; my oath
should be 'By this fire, that's God's angel:' but
thou art altogether given over; and wert indeed, but
2555 for the light in thy face, the son of utter
darkness. When thou rannest up Gadshill in the
night to catch my horse, if I did not think thou
hadst been an ignis fatuus or a ball of wildfire,
there's no purchase in money. O, thou art a
2560 perpetual triumph, an everlasting bonfire-light!
Thou hast saved me a thousand marks in links and
torches, walking with thee in the night betwixt
tavern and tavern: but the sack that thou hast
drunk me would have bought me lights as good cheap
2565 at the dearest chandler's in Europe. I have
maintained that salamander of yours with fire any
time this two and thirty years; God reward me for
it!
BARDOLPH.
2570 'Sblood, I would my face were in your belly!
FALSTAFF.
God-a-mercy! so should I be sure to be heart-burned.
[Enter Hostess]
How now, Dame Partlet the hen! have you inquired
2575 yet who picked my pocket?
HOSTESS.
Why, Sir John, what do you think, Sir John? do you
think I keep thieves in my house? I have searched,
I have inquired, so has my husband, man by man, boy
2580 by boy, servant by servant: the tithe of a hair
was never lost in my house before.
FALSTAFF.
Ye lie, hostess: Bardolph was shaved and lost many
a hair; and I'll be sworn my pocket was picked. Go
2585 to, you are a woman, go.
HOSTESS.
Who, I? no; I defy thee: God's light, I was never
called so in mine own house before.
FALSTAFF.
2590 Go to, I know you well enough.
HOSTESS.
No, Sir John; You do not know me, Sir John. I know
you, Sir John: you owe me money, Sir John; and now
you pick a quarrel to beguile me of it: I bought
2595 you a dozen of shirts to your back.
FALSTAFF.
Dowlas, filthy dowlas: I have given them away to
bakers' wives, and they have made bolters of them.
HOSTESS.
2600 Now, as I am a true woman, holland of eight
shillings an ell. You owe money here besides, Sir
John, for your diet and by-drinkings, and money lent
you, four and twenty pound.
FALSTAFF.
2605 He had his part of it; let him pay.
HOSTESS.
He? alas, he is poor; he hath nothing.
FALSTAFF.
How! poor? look upon his face; what call you rich?
2610 let them coin his nose, let them coin his cheeks:
Ill not pay a denier. What, will you make a younker
of me? shall I not take mine case in mine inn but I
shall have my pocket picked? I have lost a
seal-ring of my grandfather's worth forty mark.
2615 HOSTESS.
O Jesu, I have heard the prince tell him, I know not
how oft, that ring was copper!
FALSTAFF.
How! the prince is a Jack, a sneak-cup: 'sblood, an
2620 he were here, I would cudgel him like a dog, if he
would say so.
[Enter PRINCE HENRY and PETO, marching, and FALSTAFF meets them playing on his truncheon like a life]
How now, lad! is the wind in that door, i' faith?
must we all march?
2625 BARDOLPH.
Yea, two and two, Newgate fashion.
HOSTESS.
My lord, I pray you, hear me.
PRINCE HENRY.
2630 What sayest thou, Mistress Quickly? How doth thy
husband? I love him well; he is an honest man.
HOSTESS.
Good my lord, hear me.
FALSTAFF.
2635 Prithee, let her alone, and list to me.
PRINCE HENRY.
What sayest thou, Jack?
FALSTAFF.
The other night I fell asleep here behind the arras
2640 and had my pocket picked: this house is turned
bawdy-house; they pick pockets.
PRINCE HENRY.
What didst thou lose, Jack?
FALSTAFF.
2645 Wilt thou believe me, Hal? three or four bonds of
forty pound apiece, and a seal-ring of my
grandfather's.
PRINCE HENRY.
A trifle, some eight-penny matter.
2650 HOSTESS.
So I told him, my lord; and I said I heard your
grace say so: and, my lord, he speaks most vilely
of you, like a foul-mouthed man as he is; and said
he would cudgel you.
2655 PRINCE HENRY.
What! he did not?
HOSTESS.
There's neither faith, truth, nor womanhood in me else.
FALSTAFF.
2660 There's no more faith in thee than in a stewed
prune; nor no more truth in thee than in a drawn
fox; and for womanhood, Maid Marian may be the
deputy's wife of the ward to thee. Go, you thing,
go
2665 HOSTESS.
Say, what thing? what thing?
FALSTAFF.
What thing! why, a thing to thank God on.
HOSTESS.
2670 I am no thing to thank God on, I would thou
shouldst know it; I am an honest man's wife: and,
setting thy knighthood aside, thou art a knave to
call me so.
FALSTAFF.
2675 Setting thy womanhood aside, thou art a beast to say
otherwise.
HOSTESS.
Say, what beast, thou knave, thou?
FALSTAFF.
2680 What beast! why, an otter.
PRINCE HENRY.
An otter, Sir John! Why an otter?
FALSTAFF.
Why, she's neither fish nor flesh; a man knows not
2685 where to have her.
HOSTESS.
Thou art an unjust man in saying so: thou or any
man knows where to have me, thou knave, thou!
PRINCE HENRY.
2690 Thou sayest true, hostess; and he slanders thee most grossly.
HOSTESS.
So he doth you, my lord; and said this other day you
ought him a thousand pound.
PRINCE HENRY.
2695 Sirrah, do I owe you a thousand pound?
FALSTAFF.
A thousand pound, Ha! a million: thy love is worth
a million: thou owest me thy love.
HOSTESS.
2700 Nay, my lord, he called you Jack, and said he would
cudgel you.
FALSTAFF.
Did I, Bardolph?
BARDOLPH.
2705 Indeed, Sir John, you said so.
FALSTAFF.
Yea, if he said my ring was copper.
PRINCE HENRY.
I say 'tis copper: darest thou be as good as thy word now?
2710 FALSTAFF.
Why, Hal, thou knowest, as thou art but man, I dare:
but as thou art prince, I fear thee as I fear the
roaring of a lion's whelp.
PRINCE HENRY.
2715 And why not as the lion?
FALSTAFF.
The king is to be feared as the lion: dost thou
think I'll fear thee as I fear thy father? nay, an
I do, I pray God my girdle break.
2720 PRINCE HENRY.
O, if it should, how would thy guts fall about thy
knees! But, sirrah, there's no room for faith,
truth, nor honesty in this bosom of thine; it is all
filled up with guts and midriff. Charge an honest
2725 woman with picking thy pocket! why, thou whoreson,
impudent, embossed rascal, if there were anything in
thy pocket but tavern-reckonings, memorandums of
bawdy-houses, and one poor penny-worth of
sugar-candy to make thee long-winded, if thy pocket
2730 were enriched with any other injuries but these, I
am a villain: and yet you will stand to if; you will
not pocket up wrong: art thou not ashamed?
FALSTAFF.
Dost thou hear, Hal? thou knowest in the state of
2735 innocency Adam fell; and what should poor Jack
Falstaff do in the days of villany? Thou seest I
have more flesh than another man, and therefore more
frailty. You confess then, you picked my pocket?
PRINCE HENRY.
2740 It appears so by the story.
FALSTAFF.
Hostess, I forgive thee: go, make ready breakfast;
love thy husband, look to thy servants, cherish thy
guests: thou shalt find me tractable to any honest
2745 reason: thou seest I am pacified still. Nay,
prithee, be gone.
[Exit Hostess]
Now Hal, to the news at court: for the robbery,
lad, how is that answered?
2750 PRINCE HENRY.
O, my sweet beef, I must still be good angel to
thee: the money is paid back again.
FALSTAFF.
O, I do not like that paying back; 'tis a double labour.
2755 PRINCE HENRY.
I am good friends with my father and may do any thing.
FALSTAFF.
Rob me the exchequer the first thing thou doest, and
do it with unwashed hands too.
2760 BARDOLPH.
Do, my lord.
PRINCE HENRY.
I have procured thee, Jack, a charge of foot.
FALSTAFF.
2765 I would it had been of horse. Where shall I find
one that can steal well? O for a fine thief, of the
age of two and twenty or thereabouts! I am
heinously unprovided. Well, God be thanked for
these rebels, they offend none but the virtuous: I
2770 laud them, I praise them.
PRINCE HENRY.
Bardolph!
BARDOLPH.
My lord?
2775 PRINCE HENRY.
Go bear this letter to Lord John of Lancaster, to my
brother John; this to my Lord of Westmoreland.
[Exit Bardolph]
Go, Peto, to horse, to horse; for thou and I have
2780 thirty miles to ride yet ere dinner time.
[Exit Peto]
Jack, meet me to-morrow in the temple hall at two
o'clock in the afternoon.
There shalt thou know thy charge; and there receive
2785 Money and order for their furniture.
The land is burning; Percy stands on high;
And either we or they must lower lie.
[Exit PRINCE HENRY]
FALSTAFF.
2790 Rare words! brave world! Hostess, my breakfast, come!
O, I could wish this tavern were my drum!
[Exit]

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